Lightning Ridge was a lovely spot to visit and I would definitely go back. The sun was shining and it was going to be another lovely day there but we needed to head south. On our way out we stopped off at Stanley. A John Murray creation of an emu made out of old volkswagon bodies, satellite dishes and steels posts, standing 18m tall on the Casltreagh highway heading to Walgett.
Our plan today, Wednesday, was to go as far as Parkes but we arrived in Peak Hill at 3pm and felt like a break so we pulled into the Peak Hill Caravan Park. A quaint little park with lovely owners. It was time for a walk.
Walking through this old gold mining town was like a step back in history. Old shops adorned both sides of the street, antique dealers were plenty and when we went down side streets we found more hidden treasures. An old GMH dealership was round the corner. The owner is in a home now with dementia and his son has left it all as it was refusing to sell it to anyone so it is as if it is frozen in time. Inside were some brand new cars and heaps of brand new spares and tyres. Murray was in heaven when he saw it all, his jaw dropping at his find and further down the street was the same owner’s second hand car yard with cars everywhere. It’s a shame something isn’t being done with all this memorabilia.
Returning to the caravan park we had some scones with jam and cream left for our afternoon tea by the owners of the park. Yum! The facilities at this little gem of a park were pretty good. They had even put in heated shower floors which was a luxury to standing on a cold floor, each cubicle also had a bifold timber door. There was an old washing machine tub set up for a fire pit which was still burning from breakfast so we quickly put more wood on and had our BBQ dinner with some new friends from the Wollongong University geology field trip.
This morning, Thursday we packed up early and headed to the opencut gold mine for a look. It was interesting to see the mine and to read all the history. The mine was originally underground and reopened after advances in machinery to become an opencut mine. At the top of the mine we could see the town and grain silos in the distance. It was a nice half hour walk so we got our exercise in before we hit the road to Parkes. We wanted to go to the radio telescope.
Canola fields were starting to pop up everywhere and as we drove out to see ‘The Dish’ the scenery was green and yellow. I haven’t been to the dish since I was about ten and Murray had never been, so it was nice to drop in on.
There are lots of interactive displays at the CSIRO facility, including the whispering dishes which are 100m apart and when we whispered into them we could hear each other clearly. We had morning tea here as we had packed up early due to rain and had missed brekky, we were served a beautiful Devonshire tea with fig jam. Mmm!! The telescope itself was as amazing as ever.
In Parkes we stopped off at the information centre which was also the Henry Parkes Museum, it also houses the Elvis Collection, a Vintage car display and some old machinery. It was all very interesting and there was plenty to see. I loved the Elvis displays and Murray enjoyed the vintage cars and old motorbikes.
Onto Blayney, our second home, where we will spend the next three nights and visit mum over the next two days . After that it will be home time on Sunday.